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Industrial Internet of Things

Innovations for the “Industrie 4.0” Strategy

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) forms the basis for future intelligent innovations in the network for industrial automation. It consists of many networked, very small and partially wireless-connected electronic devices with challenging requirements in terms of power dissipation and a very long lifetime. This poses great challenges for their technical design and operation.

In the course of the “Industrie 4.0” strategy, network-based decentralised electronic devices equipped with sensors and actuators become increasingly important. The term Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is currently used worldwide for the research and development activities that create the basis for a large number of innovations in this field, which are considered as one of the most important drivers of the digital transformation age.

IIoT devices are extremely small, intelligent electronic devices with very high demands in spite of their highly limited technical properties such as the very limited computing power, storage capacity and very low power dissipation combined with demand for high data transfer rates. In operation, a high degree of security and safety over a very long lifetime and thus a high configurability of the devices plays a central role. This can only be achieved through the accurate dimensioning of the software with the hardware in combination with a high degree of automation in the software generation tool chain dedicated for IIoT devices.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the “Circuit and System Technologies” workgroup of the Heinz Nixdorf Institute in this area with two projects, both of which are led by Infineon Technologies AG: COMPACT (Cost-Efficient Smart System Software Synthesis) and SAFE4I (Safer Automatic Design for Industrial Plants). The “Circuit and System Technologies” workgroup contributes to the projects an open-source implementation of a QEMU-based RISC-V CPU emulator and an open-source intelligent IIoT device based on an energy-efficient RISC-V processor core, which is manufactured as a chip for the demonstration of the project achievements.